Ideally, online dating should be a pleasant experience. But almost nothing about it is pleasant.
One aspect is consent in the world of online flirting and instant messaging. That’s why Dutch startup LegalThings wants to use a hip and novel solution to have the final word on consent in this day and age. What hip and novel solution, you ask? Take a wild guess – it’s blockchain.
LegalThings’ new app LegalFling wants to get all legal about consent by using the inmutable qualities of blockchain. You don’t have to wonder how, just read on:
The app matches two people based on their sexual preferences, a process which makes the dos and don’ts explicitly clear to both parties. Once mutual consent is agreed upon, the LegalFling app will create a time-stamped contract that will be stored in the same way as a transaction is stored in the blockchain. It cannot be erased or tampered with, and can be easily verified for legal purposes.
This contract contains every kinky detail you can think of: tabooed sexual acts, non-consensual videography and photography, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), usage of condoms, etc. The works. Just let your personality shine and let the other person know exactly what you’re into. Just so there are no misunderstandings.
Yeah, that’s not cool. How exactly the blockchain is supposed to make consent clear is another matter. The idea seems to be to ask for consent in a confidential manner, which is problematic in the first place.
Men or women don’t want to sign a contract before engaging in sexual acts; the whole point is to respect their right to give consent in a natural way. The app is forcing the question on them, just like an unwarranted approach on text does. It’s throwing the ball in the guy or girl’s court, and makes it seem as if denying consent through the app makes the approach okay in the first place.
But if you think this app is worth a shot, it may be some time before you get to use it. LegalFling is still in development and will only be released later this spring.